Every year on 12th May, on Florence Nightingale’s birthday, people join together to celebrate International Nurses’ Day. Here at Dementia UK we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to celebrate the fantastic work our Admiral Nurses do to support families facing dementia. We caught up with three of our nurses to hear about what their day-to-day jobs entail and to find out what makes them so passionate about dementia care. The thing that struck us most was the variety of the work that Admiral Nurses do as well as the vital nature of their roles.
Tracey Frowde – Royal Cornwall Hospital NHS Trust
“Just as every person with dementia is different so is every day as an Admiral Nurse.
“My position is different to the traditional Admiral Nurse role, as I am one of the few Admiral Nurses that solely function in an Acute Hospital. I work in partnership with people with a diagnosis of dementia who are acutely unwell and carers who are often in crisis. My role has many layers and involves working alongside people with dementia and their families as well as doctors and care providers. My job also entails: strategic planning, facilitating and organising discharge, end of life care, role evaluation, policy writing, designing care pathways, environmental design, working with media and training multi-disciplinary teams.
“My favourite part of the job is having the autonomy to make a positive difference to people with dementia and their families. Sometimes we are the first people that carers have had the opportunity to talk to; we actively listen and problem solve alongside carers.
“Being an Admiral Nurse means everything to me. I feel privileged to be part of Dementia UK and to have the opportunity to work with families in such a rewarding way.”
Tracey Fletcher Admiral Nurse Clinical Lead Knowsley and Halton
North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (formerly 5 Boroughs NHS Foundation Trust)
“Every day is different to the next and every family is different to the next.
“I have been a nurse for 34 years and worked in older people’s mental health services for the majority of that time. Family carers are the most important resource available for people living with dementia. Admiral Nurses work with the family carer as our primary client. The emphasis on relationship centred care and balancing the needs of the family carer and person living with dementia is particularly rewarding.
“I love so much about my job. I enjoy being a Clinical Lead in a developing service. I love supporting my team to grow and develop and in turn develop the service themselves. I never cease to be inspired by the families we serve on their individual journeys with dementia and the resilience families develop to continue to care.
“I feel very proud of the recognition of the value of Admiral Nursing within my host organisation and expansion of the service in Knowsley to cover Halton so we can now support more families living with dementia.
“It is a pleasure and a privilege to work with families living with dementia. I feel very proud to be an Admiral Nurse.”
Angie Williams – The Orders of St John Care Trust
“It’s the best job ever! Being an Admiral Nurse in a care home setting enables me to influence the hearts and minds of our care teams. I get to meet wonderful people in a variety of settings and can hopefully make a difference by giving them hope. Every day is different. I go into a home with a plan but it never pans out how I expect as we are supporting people and they are always so individual.
“My favourite aspect of my job is meeting so many wonderful people who work in our care settings. They work so hard to provide quality care to residents. I have also been able to upskill carers’ knowledge around how to support people living with dementia, which in turn increases their confidence and competence.”